February is “Workplace Violence Prevention Month,” and the CUNY Office of Human Resources Management (OHRM) is providing a series of professional development workshops and trainings to foster respect and civility, and prevent incidents of violence in the workplace.
“We are living in stressful times due to the economy as well as personal and professional pressures that we all face,” said BMCC’s Associate Director of Human Resources, Nancy Natelli. “Sometimes these pressures are brought into the workplace and manifest themselves in ways that may jeopardize the safety and security of the workplace.”
The workshops and trainings provide participants with best practices to defuse and prevent violent situations at work.
“Supervising Challenging Employees” presents managers and supervisors with tools to deal with employees who create challenging workplace situations—before those situations escalate into violence.
“Dealing with Difficult People,” a popular course for professional and administrative staff, focuses on coping mechanisms and communication skills to use when faced with a difficult person.
“Negotiating Workplace Conflicts” gives department directors, managers and supervisors an overview of conflict resolution: how to assess workplace discord, determine best interests, and work through to a win-win outcome.
“Having that ‘Challenging’ Conversation” and “Creating Workplace Civility” presents participants with strategies to recognize early signs of hostility, and useful skills to defuse it.
See something, say something
“It is the responsibility of all employees to contribute to the safety and security of our work environment,” said Natelli, urging BMCC employees “to be aware of their surroundings, and speak up if they see or feel that something isn't right.”
She also noted the impact of interpersonal dynamics on job performance and work satisfaction—and urged employees to use the campus resources available to them.
“The University is committed to promoting a safe and secure academic and work environment that promotes the achievement of its mission of teaching, research, scholarship and service,” Natelli said. “The University and BMCC offer resources to help employees deal with the challenges they may be facing, and to minimize the risk of violence in the workplace.”
She encouraged employees to take advantage of procedures in place to report incidents of workplace violence, or to discuss any related issues.
“We continue to work towards providing all employees with the tools they need to recognize the potential for violence in the workplace," she said, "and to report incidents and communicate professionally, respectfully and effectively, even in the face of conflict, and before a situation escalates into violence.”
The courses begin February 8, and applications are available at the CUNY Web site at www.cuny.edu/training or from each CUNY college’s Human Resources Office. The workshops will be held at the NYC Citywide Training Center at 2 Washington Street, 21st floor, in Lower Manhattan.